The buzz is in the air as Le Cirque Centre founder and director, Lorenzo SantaBarabra, has just announced its 2013 performance dates for the Moulin Rouge circus performance! For the first time ever Lorenzo will host an adult only show influenced by a multidimensional theatre presentation guaranteed to stun and amaze its audience. From acrobats to aerialists to physical actors the audience will experience the classic performance of the Moulin Rouge as never seen before. We spoke with Lorenzo SantaBarabra at the Le Cirque Centre in Ashland to ask him to give us a little preview of what awaits.
Lorenzo, the passion and intensity are in the air for this performance. Tell us about the buzz… and amazing show you have in store for us?
Le Cirque’s presentation of Moulin Rouge touches your heart in so many ways and just might inspire you to run away and join the circus. The audience will travel on an emotional roller coaster ride, tears will flow and jaws will drop as acrobats fly close enough to the audience to shake your hand.
You describe your work as ‘Multidimensional Theatre’. Will you tell us more about this term and style you have developed?
Multidimensional theatre is a concept that I have been toying with in my work for many years. While performing at the university level I was especially inspired by the work of Alwin Nickolais and Ririe & Woodbury. Neither one supported the theatrical storyline of performance but were especially articulate in what they called total theater: movement, sound, lighting, collaboration to influence the body as it carves its way through space. I added a fourth and fifth dimension; emotion and space. We follow a storyline and infuse acrobatics at high levels with dance and physical acting. This style of theatrics is truly unique.
Let’s talk about the Moulin Rouge itself. Created in Paris, France by Joseph Oller in 1899, the Moulin Rouge is a famous musical cabaret where rich men would come to enjoy the pleasures of beautiful women. Tell us more about the plot, characters, and how it will be brought to life.
There are four major characters, in the story of the Moulin Rouge: Satine, Christian, The Duke and Zidler.
A deal is struck between Zidler, owner of the Moulin Rouge, and The Duke, whereby the Duke would invest thousands of dollars to The Moulin Rouge, funding the successful production of the play Spectacular.
As part of the deal The Duke wants ownership of the sparkling diamond, Satine. Christian, a poet and a lover of love falls deeply in love with Satine. The plot thickens through jealousy, love, and power. Christian falls in love with Satine, as she with him. The Duke’s power over her is in question when he realizes that she is falling deeply in love, for the first time, with Christian. Jealousy enrages The Duke, tears into Satine’s frail health and brings Christian to his knees. Torn between her devotion to The Moulin Rouge and her love for Christian, Satine’s health weakens and she succumbs to a deadly disease. Moulin Rouge is truly a tragic love story.
Tell us more about the actors that play Satine and Christian.
The major character, Satine, played by Glory Pillsbury, required a deep understanding of what Satine felt both as a lover and as a courtesan. How did it feel to be owned, as opposed to how it felt to be loved? Glory was required to break through emotional safe places in herself to find those real feelings that Satine experienced when falling in love with Christian and being man handled by The Duke. Every word and every emotion is physically acted, as all the spoken words in this show come from the movie recordings. Hours have been spent fitting Satine’s physical character onto Glory along with her aerial acrobatics. The training and focus has developed Glory’s character, as Satine, into a stunning performer. Christian is played by Krsna Deva who is a local musician. His focus is traditional music from India. The influence of this ancient art lends itself to the emotional expression of his character, the lover of love. This is his first time doing aerial work yet his physical strength and acrobatics background allowed him to pick up this new form of movement with ease and grace. Krsna has a background in acting, musical theater and some film which has helped him dive deep into the personality of Christian. The chemistry of these two performers is absolutely electrifying.
The passion for your work as both an artist and director runs deep. You have touched and changed the lives of many students around the world. Please tell us about this passion you have for circus, art, and for living!
I was born to be an artist and creator. Being raised in New York, surrounded by art, I could not help but to be somewhat influenced. When people ask me why I create so much my response is “this is what I do”. My passion for life, art, and the teaching of children is influenced by my Italian heritage and any environment that surrounds me.
Describe a pivitol scene in the show.
El Tango de Roxanne is the most powerful scene in the show. At this point in the story jealousy has come to a raging boiling point. Satine now becomes the victim of the Duke’s jealous rage. Once The Duke realizes that his money and power cannot control the love between Christian and Satine, he attempts to rape Satine. She escapes, and runs away into the loving arms of Christian. Now the Duke announces that he will kill Christian.
You are expecting the Moulin Rogue to sell out quickly and are recommending that people buy their tickets early, especially if they want to bring a guest.
The show is at the Le Cirque Centre Aerial Theatre with an intimate setting which holds 70 people. When guests come to The Moulin Rouge my feeling is they are going to want to come back. There is something so raw and so special about this show. I have taken Hollywood out of it and made its presentation down to earth and real!
Traditionally you have hosted children’s circus performances and this is your first adult only aerial performance. What has it been like for you to work with adults?
Even though adults are a little more serious about things I have never laughed so much during the creative process. Adults have busy schedules and families to take care of, but for the most part they have not missed an important rehearsal. The big difference between working with children and adults is that it’s been a bit more of a challenge working with adults as children live more in the moment.
Lorenzo, how does the work you do continually change who you are, and how do you see it changes those around you?
I have grown as a result of each new work that I create. Moulin Rouge is a love story and a tragedy. The drama contained in this story has affected each member of the cast in different ways. Tears, laughter, anger, sorrow have all worked their way through our rehearsal process and the fabric of this show. Our focus in developing Moulin Rouge is not about me or any in the cast it has always been about the show. This approach keeps us centered towards one focus, and one show; the result being that every member becomes a contributor toward the success of the production.
Tell us about the grace, beauty, and love of this magical story.
The Moulin Rouge is a beautiful story! I have felt feelings while directing this show that I have not felt in any show that I have directed. The joy of love and the sorrow sometimes brought about from conflict drives me to keep creating more. The beautiful costumes created by Brooke Sharp will give the eye a wonderful blending of color and texture that will add to the visual experience. The grace of Satine and Christian flying on a chandelier while Satine balances on her hands and Christians reaches toward her lips will send the audience into
intermission with a softness and a smile. The love and tragedy that is expressed by the main characters will send guests home feeling raw and in touch with their own emotional state.
You said in our conversation was that as an artist, as someone who is going to create and bring new originality into the world; you need to be willing to be judged and criticized. Can you tell us more about this?
To be original takes courage. Leaving the logical mind while jumping into the unknown to witness and use the unused takes a willingness to be ignorant. Genius originates from that premise. Our logic at times holds us in an emotional container which gives us the courage to exist but does not offer many opportunities to think outside of the box.
So with out further ado ladies and gentleman, it’s time to get your tickets! No pushing in the line please. Lorenzo, will you take it from here.
The show has its edgy moments and we are not recommending anyone under 18 to attend without a parent. Children under 9 years old are not prohibited. Do purchase your tickets early at the Music Coop in Ashland! The Moulin Rouge is performed by excellent aerialists, actors and acrobats! This is a show not to be missed!!!
Le Cirque Centre
280 E. Hersey St. #12
Ashland, Oregon 97520